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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Poisoning of dogs with tremorgenic Penicillium toxins

Sundstøl Eriksen, Gunnar; Hultin Jäderlund, Karin; Moldes-Anaya, A; Schonheit, J.; Bernhoft, A.; Jaeger, G.; Rundberget, T.; Skaar, I.


Fungi in the genus Penicillium, particularly P. crustosum, produce tremorgenic mycotoxins, as well as suspected tremorgenic compounds. The accidental intoxication of six dogs with such toxins are reported. The clinical signs included vomiting, convulsions, tremors, ataxia, and tachycardia, all of which are indicators of intoxications affecting the nervous system. This symptomatology caused us to think that the dog poisoning was the result of tremorgenic mycotoxins. One dog was euthanized in the acute phase, while three others recovered completely within a few days. However, neurological symptoms were still observed four months after the poisoning of two of the dogs. One of these recovered completely within the next 2-3 months, while the other still suffers from ataxia three years later. Available samples of feed, stomach content and/or tissues from the intoxications were subjected to mycological and chemical analysis. Penitrem A was found in all reported poisonings and roquefortine C in all cases when this toxin was included in the analysis. The producer of these toxins, Penicillium crustosum, was detected in all cases where material suitable for mycological examinations (feed or vomit) was available. To our knowledge, this is the first report documenting the presence of penitrems and roquefortine C in organs from poisoned dogs. Furthermore, the report indicates that the recovery period after severe poisonings with P crustosum may be protracted.


mycotoxins; tremorgens; penicillium; intoxication; dog

Published in

Medical Mycology
2010, Volume: 48, number: 1, pages: 188-196

    SLU Authors

    • Sundstøl Eriksen, Gunnar

      • Norwegian Veterinary Institute
    • UKÄ Subject classification

      Other Veterinary Science

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